Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pyrenean Ibex

Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica, its lyrical species name, is lovely and lilting to say - as is its Spanish common name, 'bucardo.'  And the beasts themselves were magnificent, with thick, ridged horns in elegant back-swept curves and a long, graceful muzzle.

They lived in the Iberian Peninsula - most commonly in the Cantabrian Mountains, Southern France, and the northern Pyrenees.

We hunted them to death over the course of about 200 years.  Celia, the last member of her species, was killed by a falling tree and found dead on January 6, 2000.

In a typically modern and Frankenstein-esque twist, in 2003 scientists cloned a Pyrenean ibex.  While the cloning process was “successful,” inasmuch as a clone survived for 10 minutes after being delivered by its surrogate mother, there are still no Pyrenean ibex left alive.

Beast by beast, final death by final death, we are making the world a smaller, poorer place.

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